According to Sky Sports, Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph is to undergo a medical at Manchester City ahead of an £8million move to the Premier League title chasers.
The Citizens have activated the minimum fee release clause in Delph’s contract, which was set at the mooted fee when the England midfielder signed a new contract with Villa in January.
Aston Villa may have struggled at the bottom end of the Premier League table for the last few seasons, but the midfielder has shined in a box-to-box role for the Villans. The 25-year-olds form has even lead to him being a regular starter for England in the last 12 months under Roy Hodgson.
When Delph arrived at Villa in 2009 from Leeds he was regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the English game. Much was expected of him, but it is only in the past few years he has started to fulfil his immense potential.
Delph could prove to be a bargain for City. Delph’s contract had just six months to run when he signed a new deal with Villa in January. The fact that he signed a new deal with the Villans was a surprise considering he would have been available on a free transfer this summer.
He was reportedly in-demand with the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham being linked with a move for him. The midfielder signed a new deal instead and had the release clause inserted into the contract.
The move meant that Villa will at least receive something for his services, rather than losing him for nothing this summer if he would have moved as a free agent.
I suppose it did not hurt the midfielder to allow his club to receive a fee, as he knew that a host of clubs were interested in his services and that one would meet the relatively small fee by modern standards.
Even at £8million he could prove to be a steal though, especially when quality English players are at a premium and usually overpriced, as City well know from their efforts to sign Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.
Fabian Delph seems to fit Manchester City perfectly. He is an English player, who will provide legs and energy in midfield, attributes which appeared lacking in the centre of the park for City at times last season.
Cynics will say that City are only signing Delph because he is English. The Citizens are running low on homegrown players, after the summer exit of James Milner, Frank Lampard and Micah Richards.
City will need to add homegrown talent to their squad in order to meet both Premier League and Champions League regulations, or simply have a smaller squad of players to choose from next season in both competitions.
At 25 years-old Delph is at his peak for a midfield player. He has captained Villa and is looking to continue to fulfil that much-talked about potential in the next couple of years.
The big fear for Delph at City is that he will not get regular playing time in the first team. There is a bit of competition in the central midfield area at City, but the likes of Fernando and Fernandinho are very similar players, while Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure endured a difficult campaign.
For the player and England’s sake I just hope he is not being signed by City to fill that aforementioned home-grown quota, because if he is then it will be a waste of a promising player’s career.
City are in need of some English talent within their team, as it is currently dominated by foreign players, like most Premier League clubs. The young English players who have joined Manchester City in recent years have been a cautionary talent of what could be in store for Delph at City.
The likes of Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and even Adam Johnson have arrived at Manchester City as big prospects, struggled to establish themselves and moved on to other Premier League clubs, most of them for smaller fees.
Manchester City will once again be looking to be challenge for the title and are odds of 11/4 to reclaim the crown from Chelsea in the new campaign, but they need to add fresh talent to their squad this summer.
I just hope Delph is being signed for the right reasons and he is not just being used to fill one of those homegrown spots. Only time will tell if a move to Manchester City was a good one for the Villa captain, as history tells us it may not be.
Will Fabian Delph play regularly for City in the new season?